“We all have one foot in a fairytale, and the other in the abyss.”
My anger at the world coils inside of me. It’s a directionless seething, there’s no name or face to aim at.”
Well. Life demands us to draw a lot of lines.
And more often than we would like to admit it demands we place one foot on one side of a line and the other foot on the other side of the line.
That may not sound … well … right.
Or maybe the best thing to do.
It may even sound like I am suggesting you ‘straddle the fence.’
Nope. This isn’t straddling, this is about being grounded or balancing oneself.
Balancing? If you don’t place one foot solidly on either side, you can be quite easily consumed by the extremes of Life which are, more often than not, found on only one side of a line.
If you don’t place one foot solidly on either side, you can be quite easily consumed by others who seek to consume what you may think you don’t really care that much about (but you should … and actually do when you care to think about it enough).
If you don’t, you can be quite easily consumed.
I guess what I am saying is that Life demands you pragmatically be active in drawing some lines so that you have some sense of when you are getting too, well, “too”. It helps if you can have some sense of where to actually place your feet that is meaningful.
Maybe what I am saying is that many of us have no problem ‘making a stand’, but if you really aren’t sure where your line is then it is quite possible you aren’t really sure you are taking your stand in the right place.
Maybe think of it this way.
It’s kind of like making sure you have things in perspective when you take a stand.
It’s kind of like demanding realistic hope.
It’s kind of like demanding some hopeful despair.
It’s kind of like demanding you believe in some fairytales and some abyss-like darkness.
It’s kind of like demanding lines for yourself so you can deal with the lines Life is going to demand of you.
I don’t really believe there are angry-only people. They just have so much anger within themselves that their line is drawn differently than others.
I don’t really believe there are dreamer-only people. They just have so much imagination within themselves that their line is drawn differently than others.
But here’s the deal.
You have to draw some lines.
There has to be some reality to ground some imagination.
There has to be some truth to ground some questioning.
There has to be some principles to ground some rebelliousness.
There has to be some fairytaleishness (I made up that word) to balance out some of the inevitable abyss.
You do have to have one foot somewhere other than where your other foot resides.
That sounds a little of whack from conventional wisdom because far more often you hear “both feet on the ground” and shit like that. But if you have two feet on the line … well … you have chosen to stand on a thin balance beam and will teeter your entire life. That is tiring & dangerous. But if you have two feet, one on each side, you have chosen a life of fairytales AND a life in the abyss.
All that said.
There are times you draw a line and make a choice to shift both feet solidly onto one side. I would suggest this is a situational decision and not a “living Life” type decision. Situational like:
That is right and that is wrong.
That is good and that is bad.
That is normal and that is not normal.
Those are most likely the moments in which Life says “now, in this time and place, here is the line … on which side to you choose to stand?”
I would suggest sometimes we fuck this up by confusing a ‘Life one foot here & one foot there’ decision and a contextual situational decision. What I mean is that in that time and place you may try and keep your fairy tale foot in place and your abyss foot in place … and mistakenly take on a different type of decision demanding a different type of line.
That would be a bad decision.
The good decision?
In that time. in that place. In that moment. You shift your feet.
I never suggested lines were easy. Just that Life demands we draw a lot of lines. I would suggest that if you do not draw some lines you will find yourself lost in anger coiled within, or maybe constantly living a less than fairy tale life dreaming it all away, or stuck in some dark abyss seeing no way out.
Yeah … lines come in pretty handy at times. Pretty handy in managing Life. I can tell you that lines can be pretty handy at helping you decide when something should end … and something should start.
What’s Next? Talk with others. Take action.
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This post was previously published on Enlightened Conflict and is reproduced with permission of the author.
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